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“Living the dream”

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The Sanctuary Thailand
Ranked #22 of 92 Hotels in Ko Pha Ngan
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed June 20, 2013

My wife & I have just been to Koh Phangan. We stayed at Way Nam 2 bays over and went to the Sanctuary every day for yoga, meditation and to have the company of fun, open and lovely people. The resort is built in the environment creating a very unique jungle atmosphere. The accommodation looked very cool, the food in the restaurant was superb, very creative, healthy & jummy and the staff were so helpful, friendly and knew what they were doing. We are just back home in New Zealand now and are planning the next trip. It was "living the dream" and am a huge fan now.

Room Tip: Choose a room with a bit of a breeze
  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Richard M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SanctuaryThailand, Guest Relations Manager at The Sanctuary Thailand, responded to this reviewResponded June 26, 2013

Hi Richard,
thank you so much for taking the time to share your experiences at The Sanctuary - and I am very glad to hear how positive they were!
Hope to see you again some time soon -
Best wishes
Tasha

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Reviews (535)
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270 - 276 of 535 reviews

Reviewed June 9, 2013

For the last 4 weeks I have been re-thinking my stay at Sanctuary. And I really have some mixed feelings. My main reason to come was to do a 5.5 day detox/fasting. And I have to say the detox was very effective and worth all my time and energy. I was very happy with the 10.30 am Yoga sessions and the Yoga teacher was very pleasant in her Yoga-approach. I absolutely loved that moment of the day. I liked it that the detox facillities were seperated from the normal restaurant and separated from the guests who were at Sanctuary for the relaxing holiday purpose and not for a detox. The detox day schedule was very effective and all employees at Sanctuary made sure that you took your shakes on time, your supplements on time etc. Yes I really liked the staff at the detox-facilities.

My biggest concern during my stay was my Thai-Style bungalow. First of all I really loved the bungalow. But mine was next to a place where they were building a new house. That started in the morning around 6 am and lasted until 7.30 pm. For me that was really disturbing. I explained Moo at Sanctuary that I am really sensitive for sounds and that I realised that it was something that had do with me as a person, but that I would really loved to change accomodation. But he laughed it all away. Then at day 2 of my detox the weekly dance-party was going on, which was fine for me because I was informed that one night a week there was a party. I guess if I wasn't detoxing I would have even joined the party. But then on day 3 the staff at Sanctuary had a birthday-party next to my bamboo-bungalow which is fine off course, but maybe when you are not eating and trying to reset your mind it's a little bit much if it lasts until 2 am. Then on day 4 the builders started to burn their waste in a massive bonfire 10 m from my bungalow which set my bungalow completely in fumes. Since I did a detox that, for me was just that bit too much and I got really angry with Moo. He told me the day before my detox that all facilities were booked, but then I later heard that the bungalows in the hills were free and NOT booked, so that got me all confused about the accomodation-situation.

Anyway, in conclusion I have to say I was happy to stay at Sanctuary and anyone who plans a detox should go there. But if you go make sure that the accomodation you choose suits you. I guess it is good when you contact Tash at Sanctuary and you explain what kind of accomodation you like the best. Because there is enough, and I guess there is something for anyone, but you have to explain it.

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled solo
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Thank rishi1978
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SanctuaryThailand, Guest Relations Manager at The Sanctuary Thailand, responded to this reviewResponded June 20, 2013

thanks for your review. i very much appreciate all the good things you have to say and i am glad that you enjoyed the detox.
however i can only apologise whole-heartedly for everything else you experienced - the noise, the fire, and so on. although of course we have to use our quieter seasons to do building work and repairs etc, the lack of consideration for you during your detox experience was unacceptable and we will be discussing all the points you raise in order to make sure the level of disruption you experienced does not happen again.
if you do ever choose to come back again, please write to me directly and i will be happy to upgrade your room and do what i can to make sure you have a fantastic experience next time round!
best wishes
tasha

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Reviewed June 4, 2013 via mobile

Well, I am still currently at The Sanctuary. I am on day 5 of my 7 days cleanse. This is my second trip here in 4 years and the place is still magical. I suffer terribly with a low immune system and the cleanse here is the only thing that has ever helped. Moon, the wonderful man who runs the Wellness Centre, is simply a godsend! Just by seeing the smile on his face makes you feel better and nothing is ever too much trouble. Him and his staff provide all the support and more that you could possibly need during quite a difficult process, but the benefits are extraordinary.

There is a fantastic range of people staying and working here, from professional rugby players, to high powered business professionals, to travellers, right through to more new age/hippy individuals.

Please research the place before you decide to come here, it may not be your cup of tea, and that is fine! But don't come here expecting it to be like every other island resort in Thailand - it is far from that, it is a special and unique place.

Right, back to the fasting, day 5 and I'm feeling like a new woman!

Thank you to The Sanctuary and especially to Moon for all you have done for me. I will be back! X

  • Stayed: June 2013
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Thank JuliaPoolia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 2, 2013 via mobile

After my 6th visit of The Sanctuary my husband and me decided to have our wedding ceremony there- and it was a dream come true! The manager Tasha made organizing everything so easy and wrote apprx 100 emails to make everything just as perfect as it was! Michael, the other manager was always around, supporting and helping us in every situation!

20 guests came, and all of them just looooved that place and were overwhelmed by the service, kindness of the staff, quality of food, landscape and peace there!

Thank you for making that day ad the complete stay outstanding and unforgettable!!!

  • Stayed: May 2013
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1  Thank anjabogo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 20, 2013 via mobile

When on vacation I prefer air conditioning, a nice pool, and a menu with meat on it. I'm not huge into yoga and I think liquid-based cleanse diets are fads and hokey. This resort just wasn't for me.

The people there are largely self-interested, on their various self-journey to wherever. Not a very social place... most people in the evening bring their iPhone to the restaurant and keep to themselves. Lame!

The location was decent, if you were to stay put for your entire stay. Otherwise, be prepared to be extorted by the boat taxis if you want to go into town.

  • Stayed: May 2013
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Thank JTvancity
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SanctuaryThailand, Guest Relations Manager at The Sanctuary Thailand, responded to this reviewResponded May 21, 2013

I must confess that I get upset when I read poor reviews of The Sanctuary on this website. We take pride in doing a good job and making people happy.
However, I am a great believer in the truth that you can't please all the people all the time, and people who like swimming pools, aircon and meat were definitely not the people The Sanctuary's creators had in mind when they carved out this little chunk of the jungle.
Why someone who lists the 3 items above as their basic necessities for a good holiday, and who is skeptical of detox and yoga, would choose to come here at all, is quite beyond me.
So for anyone reading this who has not been here before - take heed! If you also feel bereft at the thought of a holiday without swimming pools and meat - please - do not come to The Sanctuary. You will be disappointed.
If however the idea of liquid-based cleanse diets fill your heart (and intestines) with joy, you prefer to swim in the sea, and you enjoy healthy vegetarian food - come on over.
May we all find our own paradise!
Best wishes,
Tasha

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Reviewed May 7, 2013

I spent 8 days in the Sanctuary and have very interesting experience. The Sanctuary is a very complicated place. It has vast variety of accomodation, which is not very well explained on their web site. So, I am not giving excellent rating only because of presentation, as we have expected something else. This is not to say that we have not been happy, but the Sanctuary shoudl do more to explain to its prospective visitors the types of accommodation.

Firstly, the hotel is located in, at least in my opinion, one of the most beautifuls spots on earth. It is quiet and relaxing. It has a reasonably priced excellent restaurant. The staff is very nice and kind, however, somehow ineffective.

Take care as there is a lot of mosquitoes (note the fault of the Sanctuary).

Room Tip: just take care to check beforehand what type of accomodation you are booking
  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled with family
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Thank sergej s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SanctuaryThailand, Guest Relations Manager at The Sanctuary Thailand, responded to this reviewResponded May 8, 2013

hi sergej, and thanks for your feedback, which made us smile.
we do indeed have a vast and complicated array of accommodation: its enough to drive us all crazy! while on the one hand it means there is something for everyone, if you haven't been here already its very hard to imagine how it all works. we are currently working on updating and improving our website and doing our best to reflect our varied accommodation, and help people make the best choices for their holiday.
but what really made us smile was your comment about our staff being very kind, and somehow ineffective: yup, we agree - on both counts. its a constant work in progress to improve our level of service - and yet our crew, especially in the restaurant and bar, are unfailingly lovely. one day we are convinced we will be both kind and effective...!
best wishes
tasha

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Reviewed May 2, 2013 via mobile

I fell in love with everything Koh Phanang had to offer and this beach on the east side of the island (Haad Tien to be exact) was the perfect getaway for paradise.

The people are so friendly, it's not the cheapest on Thailand standards but well worth the extra money. The bungalows are relaxed and pretty. The food well don't get me started on their vegetarian menu it is literally to die for and the smoothies! You may have to wait a little while for your food sometimes though.

The beach is so chilled and has a very hippie laid back vibe! Guys bar party is so much fun and great music especially when David Chong plays every Friday. The same can be said for Eden on Haad Yuan beach every Tuesday and Saturday.

They have free meditation at 6pm everyday and great yoga and healing classes!

I can't express how much you must go here, you'd be stupid to go I Thailand and not visit this place!

I am going back, again and again and again!!

  • Stayed: March 2013
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1  Thank Emily086
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Sanctuary Thailand

Address: Had Tien Bay, Ko Pha Ngan, Thailand (Formerly The Sanctuary Island Resort)
Phone Number:
Location: Thailand > Surat Thani Province > Ko Pha Ngan
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Kitchenette Restaurant Spa Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#8 Spa Hotel in Ko Pha Ngan
#15 On the Beach Hotel in Ko Pha Ngan
Number of rooms: 21
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Established in 1991 The Sanctuary is a unique beach front resort offering beautiful houses, comfortable bungalows and budget dorm beds & boasts a 300 + vegetarian and seafood menu & bakery. Offering a diverse Spa menu & Detox fasting center, day trips, Kayaking, snorkelling and our gym to encourage you out of your beach front hammock. An eclectic mix of guests ensures a special beach holiday. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
The Sanctuary Island Hotel Koh Phangan
The Sanctuary Island Spa

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